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  1. #1

    Default Need Route from KY to Lake Tahoe..

    I have been offered use of a condo at Lake Tahoe, I have decided to spend my DH & mine 1st anniversary by taking an adventurous road trip across the country. In the past, we have taken lavish trips to the caribbean and hawaii- fine dining, 4-5 star hotels, room service, etc.
    THIS TIME, I want to "rough it" a bit.. be adventurous... explore... wear tanks and jeans and hiking boots or flip flops. Get the picture?

    I have never been out west (with the exception of a trip to Vegas) and need suggestions.

    We will be leaving from Lexington, KY- I'd like to take the first day and drive as far as possible, stopping spontaneously to take photos of anything interesting (photography is a hobby of mine)... where would be a good stopping point to stay a night before trekking on the next day?

    I would like to hike, see interesting things- a ghost town?

    Hike in AZ, swing by the Grand Canyon, head to Lake Tahoe... mid week drive over to San Fran, spend the day and drive back.

    As you can see, I desperately need tips- good stops

    We will be 25, it will be either June or August, I am a health freak, we like to hike- I am a hairstylist, so I am into fashion and glamour.. BUT I also have a "hippie" side and can be a nature chick too.. I run, hike, strength train, so am very active and like a challenge. NO skiing, no swimming (not alot), 1.5-2 weeks. HELP!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Fly/Drive

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Nowhere in your description of yourself, your husband, or your hopes for this trip do I see that you would enjoy being cooped up in a car for 10 days. But that's the minimum time required to drive the over 5,000 miles required by the trip you've described. And if you really wanted to spend a day in San Francisco and some time at Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, you might only get to spend one night in the Lake Tahoe condo. Hardly worth it. Instead, I think you'd be much better served to fly to any one of a number of cities in the area including Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, or Phoenix - wherever you can get the best airfare - and doing a loop around all of them to include Lake Tahoe and the parks I listed above. If that's what you decide to do, read through these threads for a number of discussions of and ideas for trips in that general area.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default wide open west

    It is very easy to underestimate the size and scope of the west, so I wouldn't rule out a fly/drive trip if your time is limited to 1.5-2 weeks. 2 full weeks really is the bare minimum time to even do just the things you've listed at a very fast pace.

    If you did drive, I'd assume you'd take I-44/I-40 through St. Louis and onto the Grand Canyon. Driving straight through with minimal stops for 11-12 hours would get you to about Springfield/Joplin, Missouri. You'd need 2 more similarly long days traveling just to make it to the Grand Canyon. Its then at least 2 more days onto Lake Tahoe, if you make a quick stop at any Ghost Towns, Death Valley, or any of the other many possible stops along the way. You'll have already used up a full week, moving at a pretty exhausting pace by the time you get to Tahoe. Do a "day trip" to San Francisco (you're looking at another 7 hours round trip of driving here) and your two weeks will be gone before you know it.

    Certainly, it is possible to do this trip in the time you've got. But if you want to do anything more than just cover the miles and you can't add more time to your trip, then I think a flight will be a good investment of your time.

  4. #4

    Default Need DayTrips from Lake Tahoe!

    well, my bubble has been burst, lol.... but I had mapped it out and knew the amount of hours/mile involved- I was just being too optimistic.

    We could fly/drive... maybe seeing more of cali instead of the entire midwest of the country. I just wanted to avoid renting a car- I always feel screwed over when I do- but you are right- spend more time seeing what we want to see and less in the car... *sigh*

    Thank you for your links....

    Maybe I should change my thread to "Need best daytrips from Lake Tahoe":)

  5. #5

    Default Best Daytrip Ideas ..maybe overnighters.. from Lake Tahoe

    Okay. after confirmation on the fact that a cross-crountry road trip only sounds dreamy, but realistically is a pain in the you-know-what when given a 1.5-2 week timeframe- I guess we will be flying to Lake Tahoe and taking short trips throughout our stay to sites within driving distance.

    It will be my husband and I, both will be 25- We enjoy hiking, historical sites, healthy food, adventure and excitement:)

    What should we see? An overnight in San Fran is already a probable must

    Thank you
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-28-2008 at 05:27 AM. Reason: Merged thread for same trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default My contribution

    Hi there,

    One of the obvious overnight stops would be Yosemite, one of my favorite places, and although you won't have much time to enjoy it with only one night, the drive is also spectacular. You could create a nice loop by heading for Lee vining and head over the Tioga pass into the valley and return by way of CA 4 through Murphy's and past the Calaveras big tree state park and over Ebbets pass, both spectacular and great for your hobby of photography.

    For your ghost town request, they don't come much better than Bodie just North of Mono lake. You could visit this on your way to Yosemite but you would definitely need an extra night.

    You will be near some of the old towns like Jamestown and Columbia on the Gold rush trial [CA 49].

    You also have the Eldorado National forest right on your doorstep [Although I haven't personally been there] that looks interesting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default I could spend two weeks....

    Quote Originally Posted by MsBergadon View Post
    What should we see?
    I could easily spend two weeks just exploring the coves and back country areas around Lake Tahoe, but Southwest Dave has provided many days of day trips. Although you have wisely cut out the cross country portion of your trip if you did all of the ones he has suggested and threw in San Francisco.... you would again be spending most of your time in the car. But if you wanted a couple more overnighters... Redwood, Lassen & Yosemite National Parks are all possible. Closer to Lake Tahoe, spend a day in Virginia City -- great bars and nice western heritage displays. If you want to drive on one of my favorite roads in the Sierras, make a day trip and drive south to western slope and then follow CA-4 over Ebbets Pass (there is a magical lake at the pass). When you reach CA-89 you can either descend the thrilling road over Monitor Pass or swing north and stop by the hot springs at Markleville.


  8. #8


    Thank you both for your tips.. SWDave- thank you for some great links.. esp Bodie- looks awesome... i'm now considering flying most of the way and renting a car- then taking side trips.. yosemite and san fran , I really want to include as much as possible for a great adventure- don't know that another trip like this will happen anytime soon so I want to experience alot.

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